A Cultural Journal

    'Peace through youth and sport.' XXX Olympiad. LONDON 2012.

    Written by: Shahida JJ - Posted on: August 18, 2012 | Post your comment here Comments | 中国 (Chinese)

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    'Peace through youth and sport.' XXX Olympiad. LONDON 2012.

    "London hosted the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948, and is hosting a third in 2012. The 2012 Summer Olympics make London the first city to have hosted the modern Games of three Olympiads. London is the only city in the United Kingdom to have ever hosted the Olympics; the United States is the only country to have hosted Summer Olympics on more occasions than the UK."

    London, July 22, 2012, news reports: one hundred and ten thousand passengers landed at Heathrow London airport in a day, and over a million arrived for the London Olympics from all over the world during the next few days.

    Prime Minister declared "it to be an incredible few weeks," and the Mayor of London declared London was ready "to receive over a million visitors, VIPs, athletes and accompanying trainers/coaches and organizers from 204 participating countries." And London was festive and appeared like fairyland, all cleaned up, very organized and blooming with flowers. One fast lane on major roads was allotted exclusively for Olympic travel leading to the Olympic Village.

    The Olympic torch was kindled in Olympia Greece, with the light of the sun, its rays concentrated by a parabolic mirror, and the flame was flown from Greece on BA flight 2012, on May 18 to start its 70 day, 8000 mile trek across Britain. The flame was carried by 8000 torch bearers since its arrival in Cornwall from Athens, and an 18 million people glimpsed it.

    It arrived in London in dramatic style, flown from Guildford by helicopter before an abseil into the Tower of London. A Royal Marine abseiled with the flame from a helicopter to the Tower of London, where it was locked in the vault, along with the Olympic medals.



    The 200-mile London section of the relay then started from Greenwich on Saturday.

    With Ramadan and early rise for sehr at 2 am, we slept through the 6 am passing of the torch in our London neighborhood!!
    Weather was exceptional; rather hot for London at 29°C, a week prior the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Regent Park was full of sunbathing people and families and fragrant with spring/summer flowers.

    Olympics not only brought competing athletes, accompanying entourages, Royals, Presidents and tourists, but also thousands of pickpockets and petty thieves - indigenous and from all over - as reported and warned by major news channels again and again, which also showed enactments on how they operate and dupe innocent tourists. With millions in town, they must have had a field day and collected enough money for a year during "recession" times!!

    The Queen along with Prince Phillip graced the opening ceremony, and the Queen declared the Olympics open.  71 thousand seats in the stadium for the opening ceremony; then the extravaganza that made the country proud. Over 4 billion people watched the spectacle on TV from Accra to Ulan Bato. We as a family – grandma and grandchildren - did that too, lounging before the TV eating pizza. Tickets for the inaugural ranged between 2,000 to 3,000 pounds, even higher for prestigious seats.  

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was one of the Olympic Flag bearers and so was ailing Mohammad Ali. Nadia Comaneci the Romanian gymnast, carried the torch, and so did 8000 British residents "recognized" for their services to their communities.

    Great Britain gave the world, among other things, the train, the jet engine, the world's most popular language, television, penicillin, and great writers and poets like Shakespeare and the London chronicler Charles Dickens.

    And the competitions continue - perfection! What cant humans do: showing great training, commitment, endurance, pushing human bodies to their maximum limits, and the most powerful was Oscar Pistorius – “The Fastest Man With No Legs” competing with those with legs . There are winners and losers, and we have to learn to win and to lose, but the world came together for the great games and the spirit of togetherness, unity and peace continues.
     

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